ASD outline.docx - THE IMPACT OF AN AUTISM DIAGNOSIS ON...

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03/22/2018 THE IMPACT OF AN AUTISM DIAGNOSIS ON FAMILY LIFE 1. INTRODUCTION Imagine a young happy working-class family; stay-at- home mother, a working father and two young children, John 4 years old, and Jane, 1. John and Jane are usually smiling, playing and doing the things little children do. Then slowly Jane begins to change. She stops responding to her name and her eyes gradually lose their normal spark. She becomes more and more withdrawn. Mom instinctively knows something is wrong, but cannot tell exactly what it is. A visit to the doctor confirms what she has secretly feared - Autism Spectrum Disorder - a neurological condition with no known cause. Or cure. Just like that, the world as they know it is turned upside down. This scenario plays out in thousands of US homes every year. In 2014, the U.S. Department Of Health And Human Services estimated that one in every 45 children in the United States has autism.[ CITATION CDCStats \l 1033 ] According to Wikipedia, Autism Spectrum Disorder, or ASD, as it is more commonly known, is a developmental disorder characterized by troubles with social interaction and communication, and by restricted and repetitive behavior. [ CITATION Placeholder2 \l 1033 ] Parents of children with autism may become so engulfed in the stressors associated with raising their child that other members of the family become
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significantly affected. From a family systems framework, autism is thought to affect not only
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